I have a small pond, any suggestions on livestock to keep?

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by Farmer Mike, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. Farmer Mike

    Farmer Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2011
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    I have a small pond about 25' across at the widest point and maybe 40' long that I plan to dredge to be about 3 or 4 feet deep (currently about a foot deep of muck as I have it mostly drained). It is spring fed and has clay soil, moderately exposed on the Northeastern side and shaded by wetlands the rest of the way around. I am looking to make use of the land and I am open to suggestions. Predatory animals are an issue, so I pan to fence in the area. I plan to let the spring and rains fill it and then have a drain on the southern end to control the level. I have a very old, but solid, coop that is about 5 to 7 yards away that could be used for housing. Any ideas or suggestions is appreciated.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You'll get lots of advice on waterfowl and ponds.
    I've worked on and planned/dug several ponds. Something many don't consider is runoff. I don't know if it's a concern for you but I would get a good cover of vegetation on the banks to prevent roiling the water especially after dredging.

    Getting a good sustainable population of predator and prey fish as well as other animals would be important to me.
    The traditional Bass/bluegill/catfish mix isn't something I would limit myself to.
    Check out Zett's fish hatchery in Pennsylvania. They have lots of species and other things like plants, crustaceans, snails, frogs, salamanders, etc.. They also have good info on pond management.
     
  3. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Just remember to take it slowly. Creating a ecosystem takes time and patience. Also adding to many fish can mess up the nitrogen cycle. You will also need to check with your local fish and wildlife to verify what species you can not add in your area. Also when buying your species make sure you dont buy too many. Your fish will mature and spawn which will raise the population. You will also need the right predator species to keep the prey species population in check.
     
  4. Farmer Mike

    Farmer Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2011
    Northern NJ
    Thanks for the reply. The banks range from 2' on the southern side, and 4-6' on the other sides. Run off would be via overflow, which then extends about 150' to the edge of property, from there it combines with a 40 acre pond run-off, downstream to a very large reservoir. Is this more suitable to feathered animals? Thanks for the help.
     
  5. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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  6. Farmer Mike

    Farmer Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2011
    Northern NJ
    I have no clue on ducks (none, nadda, zero ziltch) or other fowl except chickens (which I already have). My main goal is to make better use of this pond and land, and if I could make it more sustainable for me in terms of food or resource, all the better. Over the years I have had ducks use the pond for breeding so I think ducks would work, but not sure otherwise. I will be renting a backhoe to make a dirt road so I can access beyond the pond, so I figured I would also use it to dredge the pond and so forth. I also have nice sized bolders (dozens at about 5 gallon bucket size and larger) I can use for the landscape.

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  7. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Are you wanting to raise the birds for meat as well? Also if you are looking at raising some of the fish to eat Tilapia and Catfish may be good choices.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2011
  8. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

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    Consider the flying Mallards for your pond. They do pretty well on their own. They do best with a safe night-house -either on an island / floating house or caged.

    I have a small variety of ducks, and they all go in the house at night EXCEPT the Mallards that often prefer to remain outside.

    My ducks free-range, but stay right near my house (despite the 23 acres of ponds in my yard).

    Ducks are creatures of habit, so once you establish their home and routine, they will likely stick to it despite the ability to fly and freedom.
     
  9. Farmer Mike

    Farmer Mike Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 29, 2011
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    Thanks for the feedback. I could go with meat birds, but my wife wouldn't like it (she wasn't crazy about butchering the roosters earlier this summer). My view is I prefer not to have free-loaders...the animals must contribute in some way...if they are self-reliant birds that simply keep ticks in check that would suffice. If they were birds that (heaven forbid) were easy pickings for meat should times get real bad, ok. Thanks for the link and considering aquatic choices. Having some farm fish sounds good, I like Talapia and Catfish. I could make a simple platform (or look into it) for the flying Mallards (which sounds pretty cool). Thanks again!
     
  10. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    All waterfowl are vulnerable to predators. If you can control the predators, then it would depend upon whether you want to also raise fish.

    If you expect to get fish out of the pond, then you will do better with geese. Ducks will keep the fish cleared out of a pond that size. Geese are grazers, so will be less inclined to eat your fish.

    If you want eggs, then look at ducks. The good laying breeds are Khaki Campbell, Welsh Harlequin, Golden 300, and Runner. For a combination of meat and eggs, then look at Silver Appleyards.

    If they are going to be on the pond all the time, I would stay away from anything white colored.

    If you won't be collecting eggs every day, a floating island in the middle of the pond will help add protection from predators. Not good if you want eggs because the eggs might be out on the island.
     

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